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O'Neil: "It was key that we got the result."

15 January 2017

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Liam O’Neil wants another clean sheet when the Spireites face AFC Wimbledon at the Proact next Saturday, January 21.

Chesterfield are now four league games unbeaten at the Proact and have kept clean sheets in the last three of those. 

Saturday’s victory over fellow relegation strugglers Coventry City proved pivotal, as the other teams in and around the bottom four picked up victories, and O’Neil stressed how crucial it was. 

He said: “Looking at other results it was key we got the result and the three points because it’s really tight at the bottom.

“It’s put Coventry to the bottom of the league, so three points is a must and something we can build on and we play Wimbledon next weekend and hopefully get three points again.” 

The 1-0 victory came courtesy of a Dan Gardner’s wonder strike from 25 yards, his second of the campaign.

After being recalled to the starting line-up by caretaker boss Ritchie Humphreys, the former West Brom man was pleased with the way his team-mate responded although he was unsure if its Gardner’s best goal for the club. 

“I don’t know if he has scored one better,” O’Neil said “he hit one against Wigan last season which was decent. 

“Fair play to him he’s been out of the team a lot under Danny Wilson but he’s come back in and done really well and won the game for us so I’m really pleased for him.” 

Victory did come at a cost as Tom Anderson was stretchered off with a head injury. 

The players still had a job to do and the 23 year-old was happy with the way the team adapted quickly to the change. 

“Obviously it’s going to affect the game but hopefully Tom [Anderson] is going to be ok, I think he’s in hospital at the minute but [Sam] Hirdy dropped back in and Jon Nolan dropped a position as well and I thought we dealt with it really well,” he explained. 

O’Neil has featured at both midfield and at right-back, particularly in recent weeks. 

He admits it’s not his best position but was pleased with how he performed and coped with the Sky Blues’ tricky winger Kyel Reid and is hoping to continue his form. 

He said: “I always knew it was going to be a tough test against him today, he’s a quick player. 

“I’ve played against him a few times so I know what he’s like, but I’m just happy to help the team, right back is not my favourite position but I’ll do whatever for the team.

“It’s three points and a clean sheet and playing in a back four you can’t really ask for much more so hopefully we can get another clean sheet and a win again next week.” 

The match looks like it will be Humphreys last in charge of the team and O’Neil was full of praise for their hard work.

“They’ve done really well,” O’Neil added “us as players don’t know who’s coming in, but all credit to Ritchie and Dukey [Chesterfield goalkeeping coach Matt Duke], all the boys dug in for them today and got the result for them.”

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